Smith returns from three-week ban to marshall his Esher troops

Back in the saddle: Ollie Smith returns from his three-week ban this weekend at Coventry

Back in the saddle: Ollie Smith returns from his three-week ban this weekend at Coventry

First published in Esher Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Esher head coach Ollie Smith will be back on the touchline this weekend when his team travel to Coventry in National League One.

Having served a three-week ban from the RFU for verbally abusing an official, Smith is back for the remaining six games of the season.

Esher, in third, are 16 points behind leaders Ealing Trailfinders with only one promotion place up for grabs.

Smith said: “I am looking forward to being back on the touchline.

“I’ve been involved with training, but on matchdays I’ve returned to being a fan and watching Harlequins.”

He added: “The whole banning episode has taught me a few lessons.

“I’ve spoken to the RFU assessor and have come to realise that there are lessons to be learned in terms of following the right protocals.”

Although there are still  half a dozen games left, Smith has written off troubling Ealing.

He said: “Ealing deserve to be top and good luck to them. They have been able to field a pretty much consistent side all season and that shows.

“Unfortunately we have had a number of injuries. Primarily we lost Gareth Morgan at number 10. If he’d been fit I believe we would not have lost half the games we did.

“The squad is developing and, with more games under its belt, I know it’ll be challeging for the title next year.”

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